Your LinkedIn profile can be crucial if you’re a job seeker. Here are our top LinkedIn tips for job seekers. Most employers and recruitment companies use LinkedIn to search for candidates. How can you improve your LinkedIn profile and become more attractive in the labor market?
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. The network currently has approximately 590 million users globally, and nearly 1.2 million users in Norway according to Ipsos. LinkedIn is growing rapidly and has become an important recruitment channel.
LinkedIn profile can determine job opportunities
If you don’t have a profile on LinkedIn, or have an incomplete profile, you may be at risk of missing out on job opportunities. By being present on LinkedIn, you increase your chances of being found by companies searching for someone with just your expertise.
“About 20% of people who use LinkedIn are active job seekers. LinkedIn is the foremost social media site to build your personal network and professional social capital. This, of course, comes in handy on the day you want to change jobs!”
Jan Sollid Storehaug, CEO of Tenk Digitale
In some professions, it can be a big plus that you have a good profile and useful contacts on LinkedIn. If you have many followers and are active in the debate, it can be of great value for a new employer.
At OPUS Consulting, we actively use LinkedIn when searching for candidates for positions in finance, accounting and finance. In addition, candidates can easily register their CV with us. It only takes a few minutes and thus you get sent vacancies and can be contacted by us if we come across an appropriate position.
Make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete
It is also important that your profile is fully filled in. A complete LinkedIn profile gives an indication to a potential employer about how professional you are.
A completed LinkedIn profile may indicate to recruiters that this person has “the whole package.”
Your LinkedIn profile can also be very important for the position you want, especially if you are going to work in sales or marketing. People with large networks and a rich LinkedIn profile are therefore very attractive candidates for any company.
Use LinkedIn to build your personal digital capital
“LinkedIn is primarily for building your personal network. So it’s not primarily about promoting a company’s LinkedIn page, but you personally.”
“As many as 80% of people who have registered their profile on LinkedIn want to connect with others. For me, LinkedIn is not primarily a tool for promoting a business, but you personally.”
Jan Sollid Storehaug
Being visible on LinkedIn is about having as well-filled profile as possible. Here we give you 11 tips for creating a good LinkedIn profile:
1. LinkedIn profile picture creates an important first impression
Use a professional image with good resolution. LinkedIn is a professional network, and the image should therefore fit into a professional context. Profiles with photo get 21 times more visits than profiles without a photo.
The photo should show the face and shoulders and have a neutral background. Be sure to use an image that you want to be recognizable to. Do not use “selfie”, holiday photos, photos with pets, girlfriends and the like. Also, make sure that the image fits into the industry you work in or are looking for a job in.
The resolution of the image should be at least 400 x 400 points in 72 dpi. However, LinkedIn accepts larger-resolution images and scales them automatically.
How important is your LinkedIn profile picture?
According to this study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, the first impression we get from an image can form the basis of our perception of a person. Even after we have met the person face to face.
In other words, the profile picture is very important.
Here’s an article that goes into more detail about how to get a perfect profile picture for LinkedIn. They recommend using a professional photographer, but also explain how to take your own profile picture.
LinkedIn wallpaper is in the format 1536 x 768 and is also a showcase where you can use image and text to make yourself interesting. Think “billboard” for your properties.
For example, if you don’t have software to create a billboard, you can use the free service www.canva.com. There, you can easily create an image with the right format and optionally add text.
2. The headline is your ad space
The position title, or the headline on your profile, is one of the first things seen. It acts as an ad space where you can show the benefits of hiring just you.
You don’t need to have your job title as a headline. Here you have the opportunity to deepen and summarize your disciplines. The heading can have up to 160 characters.
The image and headline are your business card and are essential to first impressions. Therefore, spend plenty of time on this.
What you write in the headline will also be important for how you’re shown when someone searches on LinkedIn. Make sure your expertise is searchable, if you want researchers in recruitment companies to find your profile!
“Most people have little time. They quickly look at your profile to check out who you are. Therefore, it is essential that you use the fields that appear in a search a little strategically. In other words, don’t “look as good as I am” and “everything I’ve done” —but: This is what I can do that might be of interest to you—and why.”
Jan Sollid Storehaug
If you take a closer look at Sollid Storehaug’s LinkedIn profile, you will notice that he has added job title and company name in the name field. This is to use the header as a call to action. To tell what he can do for you and how to establish contact.
3. LinkedIn summary
The summary is the introduction or summary of your profile and shall summarize your experience and expertise. Here you should describe your key competence and why to contact you. Feel free to use specific examples of results you have achieved. Use words that you would expect a recruiter to use when searching.
Differences between CV summary and LinkedIn
Note that a summary on LinkedIn should not correspond to the summary on a RESUME. Including the summary.
In contrast, the summary on a LinkedIn profile should fit all the positions you can be an attractive candidate for. Therefore, the summary on a resume must be specific and targeted, while the summary on the LinkedIn profile must appeal to a wider audience.
Business culture and dynamics
Recruiters we always look for candidates who fit culturally well with the potential employer. Therefore, they will always prefer candidates who fit with the business culture and dynamics of the employer.
For some employers, interaction is most important, in others it is competition attitude or transparency, again others have more focus on innovation or initiative.
It should appear clear what you stand for in your summary. There is a high probability that your profile will not even be considered if you do not show what you stand for.
What does your summary look like?
There are mainly two ways that a LinkedIn summary will be looked at: on PC or mobile. On a PC or tablet, about 300 characters will appear, but there are even fewer characters in the summary on mobile. To see the rest, you have to click “show more.”
That means you should go straight to the point and get the most important thing at the beginning of the summary. At a minimum, it should be about the experiences and talents you possess, as well as what characterises you as an employee.
Try using your LinkedIn profile to convey what type of worker you are, but avoid words and phrases like “team player,” “detail-oriented” or “motivated.”
Don’t be afraid to communicate something authentic and personal, but make sure you’re still positive.
4. Work experience strengthens your LinkedIn profile
Include all relevant work experience. Highlight specific responsibilities relevant to your field. Feel free to include results that you have achieved.
Think about using words that are relevant in search. Avoid terminology that makes text difficult to understand for people who don’t have the same background as you. To get a neat impression, it is recommended to use bulletpoints.
Share results and successes: Numbers are always your friends when it comes to job search, if you have good results to show for it. Tell me what you’ve achieved.
Talk about your talents: What are you good at? The profile is an opportunity to document your skills. It’s also a good place to highlight transferable skills, explain a career change, or mark a talent you’ve used in multiple positions.
“Tell a story: You want your profile to be rich in keywords, but you also want it to tell a story about your career. Whether your profile includes the entire work experience or focuses mostly on your recent positions, it should be engaging and interesting.” – Jan Sollid Storehaug
Show up content you’ve written
It is natural that you enter your current workplace first. If you have your own blog, or posted on your employer’s website, add links to relevant content.
Feel free to link to content from previous workplaces. If you have published articles or written guides or similar in previous workplaces, it is perfectly natural to link to them.
You may also consider linking to content that isn’t created by you if this helps to describe the type of workplace you’ve gained experience from. Keep in mind that those who are really interested in you as a person would like to find the most about you that are relevant on your profile.
The new “Experience design”
LinkedIn launched a new way of showing off career steps in August 2018 – so-called “Experience design.” The new design gives you opportunities to show that you have risen through the ranks of previous employers.
5. Add education to your LinkedIn profile
After documenting past and present jobs, it’s time to move on to the next part of your LinkedIn profile: Education. Your education section says a lot about you, especially to potential employers and recruitment companies looking for good candidates.
Include what you’ve taken from education and fill in as much as possible of what LinkedIn asks for. If you have been active in student positions, it is nice to describe it here. Do not forget to include relevant courses and certifications.
Many people wonder how far back they should go and how much education should be listed on their profile. Most begin high school and continue with university or college. There is no fait for this question, so this is up to you.
The education section is not limited to upper secondary, bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes. You should also list all vocational training, certification courses and other courses from an educational institution that can be important to your career.
6. Describe skills on your LinkedIn profile
Skills is a feature that allows you and your contacts to recognize each other for different skills. This is an easy and good way and create a professional impression. By being recognized for skills you create more confidence and authority to your profile.
Choose the skills that you are strongest on and best describe your expertise. You may want not to choose too many, nor multiple variations of the same skill.
This may seem counterproductive. By choosing fewer, it will be clear to see what you are good at.
Why are the skills you include in your profile important?
The list of skills shows employers and recruiters, what skills others think you are good at.
By listing more skills and getting recommendations from your network, your chances of being detected and contacted by recruitment companies increase.
LinkedIn reports that members with five or more skills listed are contacted up to 33 times more often by recruiters and other LinkedIn members. Their profile is viewed up to 17 times more often.
What skills should you include in your LinkedIn profile?
If you are applying for a job, it is important to include those who are closely related to the job you are applying for.
Before you add a skill, make sure it matches the job responsibilities in your profile and on your resume.
If you are not an active job seeker, adjust your skills to your desired career and goals. The skills you include will help your profile be discovered by recruitment companies.
This article provides advice on what skills to include in your LinkedIn profile.
Ask for recognition!
Feel free to ask some of your closest contacts, current and former colleagues and customers to give you a recognition!
7. Give and request recommendations
To further strengthen your LinkedIn profile, it’s a good idea to contact former employers and colleagues and ask them to write a recommendation on your profile. Ask for a recommendation that is specific and describes you and results you have contributed to.
A good recommendation weighs heavier than someone has recognized a skill and can help convince that exactly you are the right candidate.
Recommendations have great power
Offer to give a recommendation to those you ask for recommendations from! Most people you have a good relationship to will be grateful if you propose to give them a recommendation and will gladly give one in return.
Nothing is as powerful as recommendations made by other people with great credibility.
“A good tip is to start by writing a recommendation for someone you have a good relationship with. Then please contact us and ask them to provide feedback on your recommendation. Then tell us what you want your contact to focus on in their recommendation of you. Nothing will be published until it is approved by the recipient. “
“In my opinion, recommendations are more important than skills as views arise about you as a person and your professional qualifications. Recommendations on your LinkedIn profile are very valuable when you apply for a new job.” – Jan Sollid Storehaug
8. Make sure that contact is easy
Remember to update your contact information so that potential employers and recruitment companies can easily get in touch with you.
If you don’t log in to LinkedIn daily, this is especially important!
You can also encourage those who are not established contacts to get in touch by including contact details in the summary box. For example, it could be your phone number, email address, or website.
9. Expand your network
Take a look at the list of “people you may know” and add relevant contacts. A good start is to add friends and acquaintances, study mates, current and former colleagues as well as business associates.
You also have the opportunity to follow companies that you are interested in and can imagine working for. Then you will be updated on what is happening in the company and can be informed when vacancies appear.
If you want a position in finance, accounting or finance, it might be a good idea to follow OPUS Consulting on LinkedIn. You can also see our vacancies here.
Invite existing contacts to connect on LinkedIn
Upload your email contacts to LinkedIn to connect with them. This is the easiest way to expand your network with relevant connections.
LinkedIn allows you to import your existing email contacts directly from Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook and other email platforms. This is an easy way to connect with people you already have a relationship with.
LinkedIn also gives you the ability to export your contacts at any time.
Think about when accepting contact requests
When your LinkedIn network expands, you’ll probably get new invitations to connect. Use discretion with these invitations so you can better control the quality of your network.
Note: If you’re new to LinkedIn, you may be tempted to accept any invitation you receive, but irrelevant contacts can reduce the value of your network.
Use Advanced Find to find interesting contacts
The Advanced Search feature on LinkedIn is another great way to expand your network.
Use filters to search with relevant keywords such as job titles, location, company, school, and more. Please note that premium LinkedIn accounts allow multiple searches, search parameters, and saved searches.
You can still conduct pretty advanced searches with a free LinkedIn account.
Here you can read Jan Sollid Storehaug’s advice on how to get thousands of new contacts on LinkedIn
10. Join LinkedIn Groups
There are a number of different groups on LinkedIn that may be relevant to you and your industry. In these groups, you can build a good network in a short time.
Use your LinkedIn search engine to find groups that suit your industry and interests. It may also be an idea to follow “influencers.”
There are several advantages to being a member of groups on LinkedIn:
You can send messages to others in the group
When you’re a member of a group, you’re allowed to send up to 15 InMail messages monthly across all your groups for free. Only that should be a good reason to join a group.
You will benefit greatly when you build your network and communicate with other members. It’s just the first message to a person that’s deducted in your monthly allowance.
You stand out by being active in the dialogue
By starting or participating in discussions, you highlight your personal traits and competencies. This helps promote your and your employer’s ranking in search results on LinkedIn.
You can be a member of up to 100 groups.
The groups can contribute to the job hunt
Many companies are lighting up positions in groups , especially the groups that focus on job search and networking. Most groups have a “Positions” tab where vacancies are published.
Recruiters looking for talent in LinkedIn groups
Researchers in recruitment companies are members of relevant LinkedIn groups and follow the conversation.
They are looking for talents that have skills, special expertise or are a clear and visible voice in a field.
The more you participate in group discussions, the higher your ranking will be on LinkedIn, and the more likely you’ll be to get noticed.
You can find answers to challenges
Groups are also excellent venues for finding answers to challenges. The groups often have highly competent members who engage in the conversation.
You can ask questions in the groups and get very good answers.
You can expand your network
As soon as you participate in groups and especially when you are active in the dialogue, you will start getting contact requests from other members of the group.
This can be a great way to get new and useful contacts. Especially if you are in a jobseeker’s phase.
11. Add matched content
Add links, presentations, video or other work that you have done and are satisfied with. You can add it below summary, experience, education or publications.
You can also post content on LinkedIn accordingly as you can on your own blog or website.
“I think the most important thing you do on your LinkedIn profile is to post relevant posts, preferably own articles.”
“You may want to post a link to other people’s content as well, preferably with an insightful comment about why you think that link is relevant to your followers.”
“You can take it quite for granted that all your contacts appreciate if you share further what they have posted!” – Jan Sollid Storehaug
Choose a purpose that promotes your personal brand
LinkedIn has a fairly open relationship with which topics you can post content about. It’s pretty much up to you as long as you stay within the laws of society.
If you are a job seeker, you should try to create content that is relevant to the position you want. Ensure that content is high quality and achieve content visibility by posting in groups and participating in the discussion.
Ensure visibility for your content
When you publish a new post to your LinkedIn profile, many of your contacts will see it in their heart rate page (news feed) when they log in to LinkedIn. This is a great way to be visible to your network.
For most job seekers, the goal is to expand their network. To reach more people, you can post in groups, or get your contacts to engage with your content.
Likes, comments and shares from your network can give you lots of new readers and maybe some interesting contacts.
As with everything else published on social media, it’s crucial that you have a good photo or video that makes your network stop at your post.
A full LinkedIn profile can be a great tool for job seekers.
If you follow the advice in this article and update your LinkedIn profile continuously and participate in the debate on LinkedIn, you’ll be much better equipped as a job seeker.
Make sure your profile is complete, expand your network, join groups, and post content. Initiate or participate in the discussion on LinkedIn on topics relevant to your dream job.
Good luck with your professional networking!
Do you have any other tips for job seekers on LinkedIn? Leave a comment below.